Ralph Waldo Emerson Writing Styles in Selected Writings of Ralph Waldo Emerson

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Perspective

In his essays, Emerson takes the global perspective of an observer of his times—a wise and well-educated thinker who can place current events and trends in an historical perspective. in fact, in his introduction, Emerson asserts, "Our age is retrospective." By this he means that current knowledge is built upon the foundations laid by previous generations of artists, philosophers, scientists, religious figures and law givers. In his first essay, Nature, and in many that follow, Emerson casts an historical eye to the civilization of the ancient Greeks to find the true meaning of beauty, art, spirit and truth—concepts that have deeply affected western thought and belief for a millennium. When he defines nature as the key element in the then-current philosophy of transcendentalism, Emerson looks back to a pre-literate time when words, per se, did not yet exist and written communications were more akin...

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This section contains 865 words
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Buy the Selected Writings of Ralph Waldo Emerson Study Guide
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